The UK-based producer/artist speaks on the release of her debut EP 'Lilac', the process of creating the self-produced project and naming herself after the ancient Greek city.
Your debut EP ‘Lilac’ is about to drop, how does it feel to share this project with the world?
It’s really exciting, kind of a relief too.. of course Covid put a spin on things that I wasn’t expecting to feature in the process, but it's great to finally unleash DELPHii into this crazy world to leave her mark.
What were the main themes that you wanted to explore within this EP?
The EP is very introspective of relationships... with others, with the self and with society. It's like an emotional wheel, snapshots inside the mind when it's left alone to think and exist.
How was the process of creating this project, as your introductory release?
It was interesting as it’s my first solo project; there were a lot of firsts involved, and it was beautiful to feel DELPHii establish herself in the sound, and to begin building up the picture of the world she lives in. She pushed through me like a force.
"The name is a city that houses the ancient Greek oracle. It seemed fitting for my illusive alter-ego ..."
If you had to pick a track on the EP which you feel best represents Delphii as an artist, which would it be and why?
I think it would be the title track ‘Lilac.’ When I wrote that, it was like DELPHii woke up. There are a lot of sonic elements which are carried over into the other tracks on the EP. The dreamy landscape, the use of backing vocals, and guitar. I think everything that comes after will be influenced by DELPHii’s birth song, ‘Lilac’, in some sense.
What does your artist name ‘Delphii’ mean to you?
The name is a city that houses the ancient Greek oracle. It seemed fitting for my illusive alter-ego to be associated with this character. She is an oracle to me, a prophet. There is also, I think, a parallel between oracles and writers and the stories they tell. An artist can write a song, or paint a picture with one message, which is interpreted in many ways to fit people's wants, needs and intentions and changes over time. It's magical.
How important was the discovery of your alter-ego for self-exploration within this project?
I knew that I didn’t want to release music under my own name, I was waiting for something to manifest and when she did, I got straight to work. There is a layer of separation from the music which DELPHii allows me to have. I think a lot of people, myself included, can be overly critical of their own work, and that holds you back. By allowing DELPHii to guide the way, she can absorb that anxiety a little, she is an accomplice, an advisor, and an edge of confidence whom I can rely on. I can speak personally through her with less vulnerability, but she’s still growing and so am I.
"Collaborate a lot and find your people. Accept that nothing will ever be perfect."
When did you first get into producing and how does it help you execute your vision better when creating music?
I dabbled with it for a long time, but I started delving into it more so that I could create without needing to collaborate first. It was liberating in terms of my creativity and my self-esteem as a musician, it meant that I could invite others in rather than needing them to start. I still have a long way to go in order to execute the vision in my mind, but that is part of the growing process that I think people enjoy watching artists do.
If you had to give three pieces of advice for artists starting out, what would they be?
Collaborate a lot and find your people. Accept that nothing will ever be perfect. If it's in you, don’t stop.
"... I think my inspiration really comes from any music that gives me that feeling, you know the one."
How did spending the beginning of your career working on other artists projects allow you the space to grow as an artist before releasing your solo music?
I’ve learned a lot from other people, I’ve enjoyed building relationships with different musicians and producers, and writing to spec can be interesting, backing vocals are also fun. I’ve gained some skills that I can carry over, I’ve learned to know what I don’t want. It's all part of the journey.
How important do you find collaboration for growth within your music?
For me it’s vital. Everyone brings their own colour to a piece and gives it something you often didn’t know it needed, it can be foundational or gold dust on top. I often like to start things alone thoughtfully, but I’m a big picture thinker, growing up the details of a sound is collaborative work for me.
How does your fascination with the unconscious mind play into your music, lyrically and sonically?
I think parts of the writing process are an expression of the unconscious mind. Sitting down to foster and develop a concept or idea is therapeutic and can sometimes be frustrating and sometimes enlightening, you never know what you’ll uncover.
Being based in Brighton, are there any local artists you would recommend?
There is so much great music coming out of Brighton, to name a couple, Bessi writes prolifically and is always throwing out delicious vibey bops and YONAKA; expert song writing and their live shows are a damn party.
Which artists first inspired you to get into music and who is inspiring you today?
It was pretty much all rock bands that inspired me to get into music initially, and stuff my parents listened to. Queen, the mighty Led Zeppelin, ACDC, and Bruce Springsteen I guess are all people with amazing stage presence that made me want to explode and do it too. I loved musicals as a kid so I love the drama. I really got into Jazz when I started to take singing seriously, which opened the door to soul and so on... now I think my inspiration really comes from any music that gives me that feeling, you know the one.
If you had to recommend five artists to your listeners, who would you choose?
What’s coming up for 2021?
Lots and lots of writing writing writing writing. Getting the EP out into this world, and playing live shows I hope. It’s so exciting; the continuations of this DELPHii adventure. I can’t wait to share it with you.